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Programme Officer - Oak Foundation Learning Differences Programme

Oak Foundation
North Carolina, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Apr 6, 2023

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Position Type
Programs, Grant Making
Employment Type
Full Time

About Oak Foundation
Oak Foundation ( commits its resources to address issues of global social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. Through our grant-making, we support others to make the world a safer, fairer, and more sustainable place to live. With offices in Europe, Africa and North America, Oak Foundation makes grants to organisations located in approximately 40 countries worldwide. Our main administrative office is in Geneva, Switzerland. We have two other larger offices in Chapel Hill and London. Our Chapel Hill office has 13 staff members working in our Prevent Child Sexual Abuse, Special Interest, Operations, and Learning Differences programmes.

Please note: Given our main offices are based in Europe, we use the Oxford style guide (including spelling) in our writing at Oak.

About our Learning Differences Programme
Our programme partners with not-for-profit organisations that improve education for students with learning differences. We believe that together we can build a world in which schools unlock the creativity and power of every young person and equip each one to shape more just and equitable communities. We believe that every student should benefit from engaging and rigorous educational opportunities regardless of personal and social identifiers that privilege some students and marginalise others. In our work, we are particularly focused on efforts that support students with learning differences who experience marginalisation due to racism and poverty and are committed to engaging with and transforming unjust systems that perpetuate inequity. We support research, the translation of research to educator practice, and systems change efforts that promote more equitable learning outcomes for the most marginalised students. Please visit the Oak Foundation website ( for a complete description of the programme’s strategy and current portfolio of grantee partners.

Position Description
The Foundation is recruiting a programme officer for the Learning Differences Programme. This position will join a team of four and will report to the Learning Differences Programme director. Key responsibilities of this role will include:

  • Managing and building a grants portfolio including to: conduct extensive outreach and rigorous due diligence to identify and prepare recommendations for funding (from the initial inquiry to assessment and final recommendation); and support impactful grantee partners by: providing ongoing contact, communications, and site visits; and monitoring progress and supporting adaptations to achieve desired impact. This also includes reviewing grantee partner budgets and financial statements.
  • Identifying and establishing partnerships within not-for-profits, policy, and philanthropic sectors to inform grant-making. This includes staying up-to-date on emerging issues, trends, and research related to supporting students with learning differences who are furthest from opportunity. This also includes participating in and/or helping to organise meetings of external stakeholders when needed, including grant recipients, subject matter experts, co-funders, and others.
  • Contributing to the learning processes of the programme by: collaborating with Oak’s senior advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning to use data and knowledge gathered in the field to inform learning and grant-making; helping to plan and facilitate learning opportunities for grant recipients; and supporting grant recipients to monitor and track the impact of projects funded.
  • Supporting programme communications internally at Oak, with grantee partners, and the education field more broadly by assisting with the preparation of relevant reports, such as quarterly and annual reports and newsletters, and coordinating and/or leading webinars to share grantee partner efforts, and promote learning.
  • Traveling regularly for site visits, field meetings and grant development (approx. 20-25%); international travel (including to Oak Foundation offices in Geneva, Switzerland) may be required.

Position requirements

  • University degree and 7+ years of relevant experience in the education field, including experience in a role with ecosystem-level influence (e.g., education policy, research, or evaluation, K-12 learning science, teacher development/learning, consulting, philanthropy, etc.); classroom experience preferred (an advanced degree may substitute for 1-2 years of experience).
  • Demonstrated commitment to educational equity, including passion and knowledge in addressing intersectional inequities across race, class, and learning differences.
  • Strong relationship builder that leads with an orientation toward humility, collaboration, and supporting others.
  • Experience in roles requiring strong project management and organisation; able to effectively advance several projects simultaneously with significant autonomy and self-direction.
  • Excellent communication skills across a wide variety of audiences and contexts, including with colleagues, Trustees, students and families, grantee partners, education leaders and practitioners, and philanthropic leaders.
  • Strong skills in strategy, research, and analysis, with an orientation toward action.
  • Growth and continual learning mindset; comfortable giving and receiving feedback.
  • At ease using contemporary software (word processing, Excel, PowerPoint, email).
  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Oak Foundation, including a global mindset and orientation.

Additional Qualifications
This position is based in Oak’s offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Foundation’s work schedule is a hybrid of remote and in-person. Team members are expected to work in-person at Oak Foundation’s office in Chapel Hill three days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). Mondays and Fridays are optional remote workdays for all staff. Candidates must have US Citizenship or valid US work permit.

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